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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories  
   with a focus on global news, trends and destinations. New.  

    December 15, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00am PST  

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hello. i'm wolf blitzer. i'm coming to you with live special coverage from newtown, connecticut, the scene of the horrific elementary school massacre. we want to welcome back our viewers in the united states and around the world. we're learning new information about this mass killing here in connecticut and we're learning new information about the people who were killed. 26 people shot inside the elementary school. 20 of them children. at a news conference just a little while ago here in newtown, the connecticut state police said that all of the victims now have been identified. they will be released -- they will be releasing the name shortly. we're told to be standing by. all of the bodies have been removed and they've been taken to the medical examiner's office. crime scene investigators are
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working around the clock. here's how they are trying to deal with what's going on. investigators say -- they spoke out a few moments ago. >> we still have major crime detectives and newtown detectives working at the scene at the school. that is not completed. that probably will not be completed for at least another day to a day and a half. i'm putting a timeline on it and it could take longer. everything we need to do to literally peal back the onion layer by lay and examine every crevice and crack of that facility. that does not exclude the outside of the building. it's also part of the crime scene, every vehicle in that lot. it's going to be a painstaking
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process. once we have a tentative identification on the suspect, we begin doing a great deal of work, again, peeling back the onion. including and not limiting to relatives, friends, co-workers, former students, location of residence. all of those people had to be interviewed and all of those areas had to be examined, hence that caused the secondary crime scene which was a sole female deceased. >> the woman that vance was referring to, nancy lanza, the mother of the shooter identified as 20-year-old adam lanza. police have described what they call good evidence but they are not releasing that information, at least not yet. school employees who were inside the school during the shooting are starting to come forward to describe their harrowing ordeal.
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earlier this morning the school librarian who worked at the school talked about the school's principal, one of the victims in this tragedy. >> she wasn't in her office. she was in a meeting. he went through the front door, if you go in the front door the office is in front of you. he went by the first-class room and the next two classrooms is where the shootings took place. she was in a meeting, i heard, across the hallway and she must have come out and confronted him on his way down the hallway. the school psychologist, mary sherlach was killed. >> what can you tell us about the reaction of some of the teachers and protecting their children? >> i think everybody does what they have to do when they are confronted with a situation like that and everybody -- you know, we practice it and they knew what to do and you just -- you
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think about protecting the kids and just doing the right thing. >> how have you practiced this? >> we have lockdown drills. i don't remember how many but you have to have a certain amount evacuation drills and lockdown drills. so the kids know the routine and everyone has a spot in the room that they are to go to. >> can you describe that spot? >> in the library it's a bookcase up against the wall. we had to move out of the spot because one of our doors was not locked. we went into the back storage room. >> how close were you? >> we were this close together. there was crayons and paper in the storage room in the back and we tore some up and gave them clip boards and had them color. >> who was with you? were you alone? >> there were three aides with us.
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>> you didn't know at that point? >> we knew because i called the office and she told me there was a shooter. >> a lot to learn. we think the names of the victims of this horrific attack, once again, 20 school children, ages between 5 and 10 years old. they died in this rampage. six adults were among those shots inside the school including the school principal and school psychologist. nick valencia is joining us with more about what is going on. we're learning more about these victims, aren't we, nick? >> we are. terrible, tragic stories coming out of newtown, connecticut. we've waited all morning to get this complete list of the victims. so far local police has not released the names but cnn has been able to independently
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confirm two of those names. one being dawn hochsprung. she was the principal. she was described as somebody that you would want educating your children, wolf. she's the teacher's teacher. she was a very involved educator with memorable enthusiasm. as you see from that photo on your screen, someone with a beautiful smile. she created an environment that made people feel accepted and important. she had been working her way up through the connecticut school system and had spent some time in elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools and had taken that job there at sandy hook elementary school two years ago. not just a teacher, somebody very passionate about her own education. she recently enrolled in a ph.d. program. she leaves behind a husband, two daughters and three stepdaughters as well. mary sherlach, the school psychologist, she was also a
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victim there of the school shooting. we heard the librarian talk about a meeting taking place between some of the administrators. they heard this pop, pop, pop in the hallway. they went to investigate and at which point were confronted possibly by the gunman and they never returned. but mary sherlach was described by people that knew her as part of the crisis intervention team. so this a person, wolf, that people would be going to and grieving with at a time like this and she's no longer around for people to talk to. she's not with us anymore. she was an expert in psychologist. she got her master's from southern connecticut university and spent a lot of time working in the community and did a lot of work with disabled adults. those are just two of the names of the 26 victims that fell victim to the shooter in newtown, connecticut. wolf? >> two names and they are going to be releasing the rest of the names. we're standing by for another news conference.
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we think that's going to happen fairly soon. with more questions than answers right now, at least on this morning about the possible motives of this 20-year-old shooter, adam lanza, we're continuing to try to get information on what happened. police say he killed his mother before the rampage at the school where he then eventually took his own life. cnn's mary snow is joining us from outside the lanza home in newtown, connecticut. what did we learn about adam lanza and his possible motive? >> reporter: wolf, you know, shortly after yesterday's horrific massacre, police and s.w.a.t. teams descended on the lanza home where it is believed that adam lanza lived with his mother. and what police now are saying in term of a potential motive, lieutenant paul vance of the connecticut state police said that investigators are recovering what he described as, in his words, as good evidence
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to possibly fill in the blanks of why or how this could have occurred. and he gave that answer when asked whether or not there were any e-mails or any writings that would give any clues about a poe te potential motive. we have new information about from susan candiotti. she is quoting a law enforcement official who said that he had access to more guns than the three guns recovered. she's quoting a source that police recovered three additional guns. and this was elsewhere, not at the scene of the shooting. a .45 revolver hand repeating and cnn has been reporting that police did recover three
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weapons, two handguns and a semiautomatic rifle and that those guns had been purchased by nancy lanza. there is not much we know about nancy lanza. we spoke to a neighbor a short time ago. she told us that there was nothing out of the ordinary about nancy lanza. >> she was like a normal anybody else in this neighborhood. you know, decorate the house and the house was always, you know, pristine. she was just like any other housewife. >> reporter: and that neighbor was saying that as far as she knew that nancy lanza from the time that she knew her, she was a stay-at-home mom and saw her a couple of months ago. the family was described as not being very social, being very quiet. wolf? >> mary, thanks very much. sanjay gupta is here, our chief medical correspondent. you just came back from the
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crisis center. tell us what you saw and what was going on. >> it was unclear to me how many people would be using the center and i can tell you that it's at an elementary school a mile from here. it's set up by danbury hospital, the hospital that treated the few that were wounded yesterday. there were probably about 100 cars in the parking lot. obviously out of respect for privacy we did not film them. families coming in, small children, some single moms and dads and entire families as well and they are staying for a long time. this isn't one of those things where people are coming in and out constantly. they were going in and staying in for quite a while. the whole elementary school dedicated to this today for 12 hours. in addition, yale new haven which has a nationally renowned -- >> yale university? >> yale university.
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they are not too far from here. they have a phone line set up and people have been calling in not only from this area but from all over the place. this is something that we're hearing people from all over the country have been affected by and using some of these resources. >> so they are bringing in a psychologist and psychiatrist and other professionals as well? >> that's right. particularly child counselors, the people who specialize in dealing with children. they have psychologists and psychiatrists, obviously people who are medical doctors. thk they can prescribe medications. again, people are clearly using these resources. they don't want to talk, obviously, in the parking lot about it, going in quite privately. but you can tell that there's a huge demand, wolf. >> because if you're a mom, you're a dad and you've seen what's going on, fortunately let's say your kids are okay but you're still in a state of shock, what kind of medical treatment -- there are probably some prescriptions, some drugs
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that you can give, but what do you do? >> you know, one of the things that i -- and you and i have covered a lot of these. but for parents really checking their own feelings first. making sure they have their own feelings in control. it's been hard for me and i'm sure for you as well to make sure that you have some control of your feelings and then being as transparent as possible about this. one of the techniques that i think really seems to make a difference and i keep hearing this from the experts in this field is let the child in this case do the talking first. really get an idea of how much they know and then slowly fill in details but not too photograph specifgraphic details. it sounds almost too simple in a situation like this, too small, but it can make a big difference. it's around the holidays. people may have holiday activities, soccer practice, things like that. getting back into that groove. what they find is if you can establish that sooner rather than later, you're much more
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likely to really mitigate some of these symptoms. i was looking at some of the data, for example, from virginia tech. even about three to four months afterwards, about 15% of people still had significant ptsd. if people actually saw some of the violence, it went up to as high as 77%. you typically think of ptsd something that you see in adults but you clearly see it in children as well and we're getting more and more evidence of that all the time. >> would it be smart for these little kids, there are under 600 kids who were at this elementary school, to go back to that elementary school and begin that routine of going back to school? >> yes. but the question is and i asked the same question, the question is when. even the reed elementary school, some disstrans from here, i don't know the answer to that.
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yes, ultimately that has to be the answer because you have to re-establish that routine and you also have to make it clear that while something terrible happened here and very frightening, this can still be a place that can be safe for them. >> i'm glad they are bringing in a lot of professionals with a lot of experience. i don't know what you can say. i guess the medical professional is one thing, clergy can be very helpful, too. >> and the community as a whole. it's interesting, one thing that always comes up is that everybody suffers here somewhat. and i think people tend to feel very isolated. so when you have these types of facilities, where people are coming together, besides the counselors, besides the psychologists, psychiatrists, even the clergy and seeing your fellow community members going through the same thing that you're going through, that's part of the purpose of creating a central place where people can do this. because that feeling of isolation i think can be quite troublesome. >> sanjay, thank you for that report.
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sanjay is going to be with us obviously throughout all of our coverage today, tomorrow, we're here in connecticut. we're not going anywhere. this story has resonated to so many people around the world. we're also watching the investigation as it is unfolding and there are a lot of issues at stake in this investigation. lou palumbo is joining us. he knows how these investigations unfold. watch us how -- if you were involved in this vinvestigation what's the single most important thing that you would be doing right now? >> certainly trying to establish whether or not this gentleman had anyone act in concert with him and attempting to determine specifically how he was able to gain access to the school. and we do have some information regarding the access issue. but the investigation that they are conducting is going to be ongoing for quite some time.
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>> days, weeks, months? how long does an investigation like this routinely and this is far from routine, go on? >> well, every investigation stands on it is own merit and the severity and nature of the incident, it could take a couple of days. i know that the police initially alluded to wrapping up in the next day or so. i would have to say that they are probably on point but the investigation isn't just focusing on this classroom, as they already he cexplained. it's also focused on the residence of the mother and this shooter. so this investigation has some time. there's a lot of duration that they have to compile, things like distance from the victims, angles, number of shots fired, recovery of the casings, trying
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to find the bullets in walls. to retrieve them and conclude ballastically that they came from a weapon. i think they have a lot of work to do yet. they are still going to go out -- even though they realize that his mom legally acquired the weapons, they are going to find out where she acquired them as well as how she was able to get the weapons from the house in which he resided. we are all working from the premise that she hadn't properly secured them. she may have especially with the fact that he had a personality disorder. the investigation will further tell us if he beat her up, forcing her to surrender these weapons. there's a lot of information that has to be tied together yet. >> debra freyrick has a question
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for you. >> why do you think that nancy lanza would need a gun in that tight-knit, middle-income of a flew went community? why the need for a gun? >> well, quite candidly, all she'd have to do is watch the news where we have a concern about taking your child to the movie theater or shopping mall or sending them to a school or university. any one of these denominators could prompt a person to believe that they need a tool of this type. the question is, why did she have a sig sauer p 229 or -- there's a number of configurations or a glock pistol. they are both high-powered semiautomatic and in a glock 17, block 19 or block 26. and then we're looking at the m4
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carbine of the bushmaster. this is all conjecture. maybe she felt like she needed to have tools like this to protect her family. this is all conjecture. it's difficult to understand why you would have multiple weapons of these types. you have to remember something of these weapons. these are weapons that are designed to stage assault or respond to an assault. that's their only purpose block 17 or other glocks are not hunting vessels. it's designed as an offensive or defensive weapon. >> that's a big question. clearly a lot of police officers looking into why she had those types of weapons, whether there was a reason for that.
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we talked about psychological testing how people can buy a gun without psychological testing but this takes us to another level because if somebody is going to force possession of a gun, that's something totally different. wolf? >> lou palumbo, thank you as well. >> columbine right now here at sandy hook elementary. with every school shooting, every parent thinks, it could have been my child, god forbid. what can we do to save children's lives down the road? much more of our special coverage right after this.
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we have just been told that the secretary of state hillary clinton has suffered a concussion. a statement released by the state department, i'll just read it to you. here it is. and our foreign affairs secretary releasing this statement. while suffering from a stop mass virus, secretary clinton became dehydrated and fainted sustaining a concussion. she has been recovering at home and will continue to be monitored regularly by her doctors. she will continue to work from home next week staying in regular contact with officials.
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she's looking forward to being back in office soon. dr. sanjay gupta, a neurosurgeon himself, he's here. sanjay, she's obviously not feeling well. she must have fallen, i assume, hit her head, and suffers a concussion? >> yeah. the first thing -- the fainting preceded the concussion. one of the most common things is you have somebody who becomes dehydrated. that's one of the top reasons that would come to mind when somebody else thinks of a heart condition but they said she had a stomach virus. to faint to the point where she hit her head, she didn't brace herself so sounds like she was really -- the fainting spell was quite significant. with a concussion itself, doesn't mean you necessarily lose consciousness. what i read into the statement specifically is that they are allowing her to rest at home. if they had said that she needed to spend the night in the hospital or something else, that would clearly be of more concern. but this sounds like something she should recover from just fine. it's obviously unfortunate and
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the stomach virus can make somebody dehydrated to the point where you get that faint, that's a concern. being that she is at home, she probably didn't need a c.a.t. scan or anything like that. >> as a precaution, secretary of state, she has a concussion, she fants, you wou faints, you would think that they would want to do some testing. >> maybe they did some testing, but whatever it showed in the end didn't warrant her staying in the hospital. you would want to make sure there wasn't any blood on the brain. >> our reporter is on the phone. elise, you have more information? was she taken to the hospital for testing, cat scans, other tests? >> reporter: she was obviously taken to the doctor. in the last week, we've been talking about this virus that she had. as you know, she keeps this punishing schedule, wolf. the last week or so she's really been down for the count. you know, even the state
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department had to acknowledge that the stomach virus was, you know, really hit secretary clinton hard. dehydration, fatigue, everything like that. the fact that she's at home, we know secretary clinton. she never really stops working. she'll continue to make calls and the such. but the fact that she's not in the hospital right now signifies that her doctors think that she's out of the woods in terms of any kind of serious injury. >> i know last week she was supposed to go on an important trip to morocco. she canceled that trip which was highly unusual, sending her deputy to morocco for an important visit to that north african country. you've covered her for these last four years. how extraordinary is it that she cancels a foreign visit like this? >> wolf, i've been covering secretary clinton since she started. i've done many travels with her.
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the only other time she canceled a trip in the last four years is when her mother, who she is very close to, fell ill and died a few days later. when she doesn't feel good, she keeps a punishing schedule. she keeps a schedule that even some of the journalists can't keep up with her. she's really always running, always working, always on the job. so for her, last week, to cancel this trip was really, really extraordinary and a lot of people started to talk about, well, is this a more serious case of something, some kind of illness? but, no, we just understand there were several other people on her trip that also fell ill. not as sick as secretary clinton but they said, look, this is a really bad virus, really puts you down for the count, and she just needed a lot of rest, a lot of fluids and care. >> yeah. it's one thing to have a virus, as sanjay is here, and it's
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another thing to be actually dehydrated and faint but then to hit your head and have a concussion, walk us through. there are concussion and there are concussions. there are various degrees of concussion. >> right. as you know, i worked for her when she was first lady. >> when you were a white house fellow? >> when i was a white house fellow. >> she would be sole nool her work, she would have to be reminded to eat and drink. it's something that any doctor would certainly be concerned about and what happens is you drop your blood pressure. you're simply not getting enough and a minor fainting spell, it was significant enough when you fall and brace with your hand, the instinct is to protect your head. it sounds like from what we're
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reading, she was out enough to not even do that. she hit her head on the way down or on the ground itself and to cause a concussion can. and, again, a concussion does not mean you lost consciousness. a concussion can simply mean that you're a little bit out of it, you may have blurry vision, ringing in your ears, a hard time remembering words for a few minutes, things like that. but that's usually enough for it to be called a concussion and to get at least an exam. some sort of neurological exam. i don't know if she got a c.a.t. scan but that would be the typical course. >> she's being monitored regularly by her doctors. according to the statement, she's at home. i assume she's being monitored at home by her doctors as opposed to going to the hospital. >> and that's clearly a good sign. most would say if they had a heightened concern, it's best that you stay in the hospital and we can observe you. but the key is that usually
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someone wants to be -- they need to check the person every hour or so and do a neurological exam. >> walk us through -- secretary clinton fainted, she's got a stomach virus, she hit her head. what would you do? how would you test without going through a c.a.t. scan or anything buying like that? >> as simple as it sounds, that is certainly part of it. first of all, you want to address the fainting thing so she might need some fluids. sometimes someone would need an i.v. to get rehydrated. that's the fundamental problem. as far as the neurological problem, what a concussion means is the way that you interpret the world has been altered in some way, decrease cessation. you do exactly what you're saying, eye movements, check hearing, ask them questions, make sure that they are oriented
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to who they are, where they are, the time that it is. so these sorts of questions. after a while you get a pretty good idea. my guess is that her vision is normal and they want to make sure that it stays normal. >> otherwise they would have taken her to the hospital? >> exactly. >> let's hope that she recovers completely. we assume she will. she was supposed to testify on december 20th on the benghazi. i assume she's in no situation to go to capitol hill and testify. >> it sounds like from what her doctors are saying is they want her at home for about a woeek. >> let her rest and recover. i traveled with her on one trip to france and i saw how hard she works. >> tire you out even, wolf in. >> i was exhausted but she kept on moving and moving. we, of course, wish secretary of
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state hillary clinton a speedy recovery. she's suffering from a stomach virus, became dehydrated, fainted, and sustained a concussion. she's at home recouping and doctors are taking care of her. we're here in connecticut. we're watching this horrific tragedy unfold. there is new information coming out. we're standing by, by the way, for a news conference. we expect to get the names of the victims. 20 children, for example, 20 of those 26 people shot in this elementary school behind me here in connecticut. we're going to get those names fairly soon. this is a massacre that has resonated not only here but around the country. josh levs is joining us. >> we lost wolf. i'm going to take over. here's what i want to talk to you about. this is victims and survivors of columbine. 14 years ago. a lot of you might not realize,
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be people who were at that massacre, two people came to school and killed 14 people before taking their lives. now many people who survived columbine are old enough to have people in school. i spoke to some of these survivors about how they are affected about this news out of connecticut. i want to introduce you to a woman who is a survivor from columbine, now a mother, kacey johnson. >> you lose the sense that things can never happen to you. parents will say, this would never happen to me. for me as a parent of a child, i believe this could easily happen at my child's school but that's because it has happened to me before. i would hope that the people involved will walk beside these children and the families for the years to come. they have years and years of healing that they are going to be facing.
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and i hope that we can come beside them and encourage them and focus positively on the lives of the ones that were lost. >> and thank to kcey for the beautiful pictures of her family. another person i want to talk about is shawn graves who lives in a wheelchair. i spoke with him about the effect that this news has on him. >> i live with pain physically on a daily basis because of the injuries that i sustained, but looking back, i try not to think about it. but when something like this happens, that's the first thing you really do, you begin to relive it. and turning it on to the -- putting on the news and just watching the coverage live from this point of view versus where i was then, it will take you through an emotional toll,
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that's for sure. it tore me down. >> i want you all to know that members of that group, the small group of people who really understand what it is like to be inside a school when a school day turns into carnage, particularly there in columbine, have created organizations helping people in connecticut and, wolf, i was speaking with several of them and they were telling me that they want to do all they can to help the families move forward and not just to be there with them in the short term but to be there with them in the long term, wolf. >> i think they can help, indeed. i think these people have lived through hell and maybe they can help some of these people here in connecticut. josh, thanks very much for that report. we're going to continue to follow the reaction. we're also -- remember, we're standing by. another news conference expected here fairly soon. they are going to be releasing the names of the victims, including 20 children, six adults. let's check in with deb
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debra feyrick. >> 400 american forces and two patriot missile batteries will arrive in turkey soon. it will be under the control of nato. they asked for this as a defensive measure. in egypt, president mohamed h morsi deciding whether the controversial document goes into effect. the days leading up to today's vote has been marred by many protests and violence. a mass was held today for a nurse that hung herself after a prank call. her husband and children spoke publicly for the first time since her death. jacinthca took the hoax call. the funeral will be held on monday in southern india. wolf. >> deb, thanks very much.
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here's what we know right now. the bodies of all 26 victims, six children, six adults have been taken out of the school and transported to the medical examiner's office in connecticut. investigators will remain at the school for at least the next day or two. they are still gathering evidence. the identities of the victims will be released shortly. we're standing by for a news conference. we'll have live coverage here on cnn. police say they have identified the shooter as a 20-year-old, adam lanza. they say he forced his way into the school. they are not revealing exactly how he got in, at least not yet. police also say they found what they describe as good evidence, their words, good evidence about how lanza managed to get into the school and commit this deadly rampage, why he did so as
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well. they are revealing that there were three guns, three guns found, three weapons found inside the school near the bodies. president obama is promising to take whatever steps are necessary and to prevent tragedies like this one down the road. he wants to make sure that things are done to prevent from happening again. our white house spokesman, bee brianna keilar is joining us. what does he mean by specific action? >> reporter: specifically i don't know. when he said that yesterday in the briefing room and again during his weekly address, it's a general promise to do something to try to avert
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tragedies like this one. and i will tell you at the white house, certainly beyond the white house, there is a sense that what is in place isn't working. i mean, president obama has been president and sort of overseen or had to strike a tone of senseless tragedies, from ft. hood to the shooting of gabby giffords. and this scene as well takes it to a new level because of not only tragic crime. i've been talking to some sources who are familiar with the options that the president may have at his disposal.
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he has talked about renewing a ban on semiautomatic weapons. there's that. there's also been talk of perhaps limiting the number of bullets and magazines of perhaps moving forward with better legislation when it comes to mental health, identifying people who shouldn't have access to weapons, doing better reporting of those people and the details of this particular situation, and that will inform the citizens. >> the families who are suffering so oh much, will he visit them? >> no word but it's safe to say that he will make that trip. he's done that in situations like this. it's normally a few days that have passed before he does that. he's in contact with state
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officials. he's certainly taking cues from them and will be in coordination with them as he tries to figure out exactly whether and when he will be going to connecticut, wolf. >> i'm sure he'll be here sooner rather than later, brianna. thanks very, very much. here is the key question. why? it's a question all of us are asking, all of us are struggling to make sense out of the carnage out of the sandy hook elementary school. we're going to talk to randy who experienced a shooting inside his church. we'll speak with the pastor when we come back. [ woman ] dear cat, your hair mixes with pollen and dust. i get congested. but now, with zyrtec-d®, i have the proven allergy relief of zyrtec®, plus a powerful decongestant. zyrtec-d® lets me breath freer, so i can love the air. [ male announcer ] zyrtec-d®. behind the pharmacy counter.
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. indicakate bolduan is joini on the phone. kate, what are you learning
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specifically about the victims? >> hey there, wolf. i just left a very ee mowing mo interview with one of the parent of vicky soto's students. during this interview they told me what is truly a miraculous story of how their son made it out of that school alive and how vicky soto was able to protect and save so many -- save their son and other students from the shooter. according to these parents, their son has recounted that once it was clear that a shooter was in the school, she moved the students in her classroom to the far end of the room away from the door. the shooter then burst through the door and shot her teacher, vicky soto, in front of her students. this is a first grade class that we're talking about. i think we have a photo that we can show you. this is of vicky soto and this
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is from a class photo this year. somehow, wolf, this little boy and some of his fellow student, his classmates, were able to run right past -- directly past the shooter while he was there and they were able to get out of the school. they ran straight out of the school from there and eventually made it to safety. a really harrowing tale that was just told to me and, of course, at this point miss soto is feared to be among the dead. we do not have confirmation of that and you can be sure that this little boy and his parent don't know and they, of course, hope for the best. but it was really moving to hear how their 6-year-old son loved her and what she did to protect her students and she herself poe technically fatally injured in doing so, wolf. >> how were the parents -- how -- i know that you've been
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speaking with people since you got here, kate. how are they coping? how do they seem to be during your conversation? >> it ranges from absolute relief. you know, i met their two children. this one family -- they have two kids that were at the school. a first grader and a second grader. and just seeing them trying to go back -- to go about a normal schedule, try to watch cartoons in the morning and pancakes this morning. the relief on their faces is just as much shared with the grief when they know that other families this morning are not able to try to get any kind of semblance to normalcy. they accept the fact that they have not been able to register what is happening and what this town will never be the same. it is a very close-knit community. their son and daughter made it out safely and they say that they are angels on their
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shoulders yesterday morning. so many other children did not and they are very aware of that and that's why they wanted to sit down and speak with us, just to send their love and support to the community and all try to provide healing when it's still hard to wrap their mind around what happened, how that evil could enter that classroom and stare down those children. >> kate's going to be back with us for our special coverage. kate will be with me and she'll have that interview from newtown, connecticut. 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. eastern. right now i'm joined by the senator of connecticut. i assume you were here when you heard about what was going on. can you shear with our viewers, the key question why? was there any motive that could
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have caused this tragedy? >> i was attorney general for 20 years and federal prosecutor before that and i can tell you that that is one of the key questions. there are no answers as yet. one of the challenges is, there is so little direct evidence that reflects on motive but obviously the horror and the grief is very real and i think all of our hearts are going out to those. >> do we know if there was a suicide letter or anything along those lines? >> as of yet, there is no direct evidence that i can share at this point. the investigation is ongoing. i can brief regularly as recently as just a little while ago. the investigation continuing very actively involving the home
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of the shooter as well as -- >> where his mother is dead. this 20-year-old shot his mother at the home and then drove to the school and opened fire on these kids. >> that is the timeline of what occurred. that's generally what happened and this kind of madness has no immediate or apparent explanation and the tragedy is inexplicable. at the service last night -- >> at the vigil at the church? >> yes, at the church, senior weiss, as you know, began with the question why? and there is no answer at this point. >> there may never be an answer to that question because sometimes we don't know and that's that. but connecticut does have pretty strict gun control laws on the books right now. but what else do you need to do? you were the attorney general for a long time in this state. what else can be done to try to
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reduce the chances that this could happen at another elementary school? >> well, as attorney general i fought for gun safety measures, assault with a ban is a measure that i defended in court when it was challenged constitutionally, personally went to court to defend it and i think that's a conversation that we will have in this state and around the country, what greater measures in enforcement and in new kinds of oversight can achieve safety, particularly in our schools where obviously a tragedy of this kind is beyond words and beyond comprehension. >> susan candiotti, our reporter, said they found three weapons on the scene but they think that there are other weapons elsewhere. have you heard that? >> there was a fourth weapon recovered in the car. three weapons on the scene. two of them handguns, sig sauer, a glock, and then a civilian modification of the m-16. so there were three weapons on
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the scene. >> were all of them used? >> and all of them were used in some way during the shooting. >> do you know if he used all of the ammunition that he had or was there still ammunition available to him? >> i can't say whether that was so. whether all of the ammunition was used or not. >> but these weapons were registered in his mother's name? is that right? >> i can't confirm whether they were completely regularly registered but i'm told at least one was registered in her name. >> have you been in touch with the white house, the president? i'm assuming he'll be can coming here, there will be an opportunity for him to console the families of those who kids died. >> i can tell you that the president's heart and prayer are with you newtown at this moment. we've been in touch with the white house. the timing of his visit is not yet set, so far as i know, if in fact he will be coming. this whole episode is is so extraordinary, at least in the
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experience of most people. there may be others around the world that have occurred, a comparable tragedy. but 20 little children. i think the president wants to be respectful of the grief and the kinds of experience that is reflected here. >> do you have a history here in this community? danbury is not very far away. you were the attorney general, you're the senator. did you know any of these victims? >> i can't say i knew the victims or their parents but i know the community well. it's a strong community. it's a great small town in connecticut. and i'm here quite a bit as well as in danbury. really all around the state. but it has the strength and courage that it has demonstrated. >> one other question. you're going to go back to washington. united states senate. is new federal legislation needed to tighten up gun control in the united states? >> you know, wolf, i think that is a conversation i'm going to
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have with my colleagues. and today i'm not going to discuss that out of respect to the families and i'm going to be back be again tomorrow. but i'm going to go to washington and i'm going to raise this issue and i think it's time for the conversation to be renewed for the dialogue to begin again and for the senate to consider whether that kind of action is necessary. >> senator blumenthal, thank you for coming in. >> thank you. >> our deep condolences to everyone in the state. they are suffering and so are we. >> thank you. thank you for being here. that's it. what a horrific story. what else could i say? i will be back later. a special three-hour "the situation room" starting at 5:00 p.m. eastern until 8:00 p.m. our coverage will continue. also we're following the latest of secretary hillary clinton.
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